Today I am thrilled to be guest posting over at Cara Stickland’s lovely blog, Little Did She Know. Cara has been hosting an utterly captivating series on her site entitled de(tales): stories of all those interesting details that make our life experiences so rich and unique. I hope you enjoy my de(tale) offering, Ugly Sweatshirt. The first portion of it is below, but you’ll have to click the link to continue reading over at Little Did She Know. Be sure to nosy about her site – so much goodness!
I see it when I am 11 years old. In the boys department at Wal-Mart. Athletic gray – the least flattering color on the planet – with long sleeves and generous hood. Laced with a thick cotton string, perfect for weaving round and round distracted fingers. Emblazoned with the basketball logo for the Georgetown Hoyas, it’s an odd choice for a hockey-obsessed Canadian girl.
But something about the bold navy lettering and vicious cartoon bulldog growling on the front speaks to my tomboyish sensibilities.
This giant bulldog head on a misshapen Wal-Mart hoodie becomes my statement. I wear it constantly. Well before the introduction of cutesy fitted sweatshirts, it balloons out from my pre-pubescent chest and stays billowed until reluctantly succumbing to the ribbed elastic firmly adhered to my waist. It truly is an ugly sweatshirt.
But I feel comfortable.
At 11 years old, a Georgetown Hoyas sweatshirt defines me to the world.
* * *
Five years later, I creak open the door to my math class, a few minutes late. The sweatshirt is long gone. I am wearing a fitted short sleeve shirt – some sort of rayon-polyester blend. It has a white collar and is dotted with teensy pastel flowers, lavender and mint and buttercup. I think it the most gorgeous thing every created. Wrapped around my lower half is a short denim skirt with metal buttons parading down the front. Nude nylons (complete with circulation-cutting control top) discreetly lead the way to black high-heeled clogs.
As I teeter to my seat, a boy swivels in his chair and gives me a shy smile. Then he blushes crimson and rapidly turns back to the front.